Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Very Unfunny 'Driving Back From the Airport' Monologue

Growing up is hard. We find out those jokes weren't so clever. We find that game system is outdated. That kid we hated for acting like a spaz was actually sick. Our shoes were made by children that had no rights. The cartoons that captivated and inspired us were made to make us buy sugary cereals and plastic toys. And oh man, the fats were bad, the cholesterol was bad, the calories were bad, the preservatives were bad, the carbohydrates were bad, and that what's left will leave you farting for the rest of your life.

We find out our heroes, those that weren't fictional, were sexists, racists, liars and murderers. We find our religion, if it isn't just plain wrong, draws us scorn from all across the spectrum. We find that doctors, soldiers and astronauts don't make a decent living. We find kings were dictators, that the only people not involved in the slave trade were slaves, and for whatever reason no one ever liked the Jews, even when they gave up everything that defined them. We find innocence unpopular, and ideals labeled ignorant.

And worst of all, the smartest of us dumb kids figure out that there is someone trying to become a millionaire off of every revelation of these evils through his or her book deal, movie or miniseries. We find a world of bitter young men who are bound to become sad old men; we find a world that is much better at tearing down than building up. It disenchants, makes us bitchy, and creates fear and suspicion of strangers who smile. We have so many holes in us from the things that have been yanked out that we can only muster the same hurtful emotions and behave just as badly as those who made us this way. We tear pieces off of other people to fill ourselves up, but what’s stolen can’t sustain. Once we grow up, once we're thoroughly indoctrinated, the only thing we truly do better than children is resent the people who question us. We are perhaps even more dangerous than we would have been had we remained uneducated and unworldly, and at best we are just as dangerous, just in different ways. Unless we decide to stand for the things we love regardless, and keep how much we take from others in check.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Renegade Sons and Gatorade Moms, OR, Brought to you by Styx’s “Renegade”

(This can only truly be appreciated if you’ve heard “Renegade” by Styx. It can only be properly comprehended if you’ve listened to the song fifty times in two days.)

Dear Son,

Firstly, the state of West Virginia abolished the death penalty ages ago, so no hangman is coming down from the gallows for you.

It sounds like you're being melodramatic again. You’ve been like this ever since I was elected to the Senate. I know it was hard, but you’re in your twenties now. You should really move on and meet a girl. Are you taking your pills? I'll never forget the night you had a nervous breakdown because that nice officer pulled you over for speeding.

You weren't speeding again, were you? Lord, if your grandfather could see you.

Anyway, your father is out wiring you bail money now. By the time you read this you’ll be a free man. So remember, little renegade, that your father and I worked very hard so you could have it made, and we'd appreciate a little gratitude. At least stop getting arrested in verse.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

A friend wants a concise explanation for a Communist superhero team

Paragon City’s government has failed. The bourgeois police force is unable to combat magical or extraterrestrial invaders. It isn’t even able to stop the thugs robbing old ladies and curiously attractive teens on every street corner. It is time for the proletariat to rise, and that bold everyman army is the Red Sky Gamblers. Born of people tortured by gang war, alien invasions and fairy bullying, they unite to fight the power – and not just the evil one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One of those quote ones

Bathroom Monologue: “Would you rather spend a day reading a book or going to a big box store?” –Somebody asking Neal Stephenson a question on his At Google interview

We started in the sports section. One can always rely on some Nerf or Nerf-knockoff ball to come in minimal packaging and thus be useful for testing. Nat went long, sometimes as far as two aisles as my wide receiver. Vanessa rolled her eyes and laughed, nearly peeing herself when I completely overshot Nat’s department and hit a mirror. It did not break, but our luck was out and we migrated.

We migrated to the toy aisle, examining points of articulation on action figures and arguing over what lines of toys we’d actually like to see. Toys begat videogames, and the price tags on videogames shuffled us further over to the media section, to watch the newest crappy blockbuster DVD release play out on HD TV sets we couldn’t afford. We ogled superhero movies and shiny fantastic journeys before settling on the row of $5 DVD’s. Thank You For Smoking was quite a steal at that price, and Nat made sure to go through every DVD. And why not? We had all day.

We feasted on twizzlers and Reese’s cups, picked up potato bread, milk and other grown-up necessities, and complained about how expensive drinks were becoming. If you broke it down, wasn’t this red stuff a dollar-fifty a bottle? Scandalous.

Full on candy and sports drinks, we charged to furniture, figuring out what would look nice in the hypothetical apartment we’d one day rent. The three of us playing like this in a room of our own on the upper east side, or the way lower side of something with more reasonable rent. That black coffee table, these coasters, and the sofa we all nearly fell asleep on, until someone in a Target shirt walked by.

As the day closed we headed for the exit, meandering through the book section. I grabbed one of the new paperback copies of something I’d longed for but couldn’t afford in hardcover.

I thumbed through it on the way to checkout, and Nat asked, “Weren’t you supposed to be reading today?”

“I read everyday,” I told him. “Pounded four books already this month. Then I woke up this morning with this strange and somewhat stupid idea that all I could do all day was read or go to Target. No clue why I couldn’t have gone and then come back home and read, or go do something else entirely – but I felt stuck in the ultimatum. And I figured if I was going to do one of the two all day I should do the one I could do with friends.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Good with the Bad

"Honey, I've got good news and bad news."

"Let's hear the bad news first."

"There's a killer in the house. I saw him in the corner of the mirror at the top of the stairs. He's got a knife."

"Oh my God!"

"And he cut the phone line."

"Oh my God!"

"It's okay! It's okay, because there's good news!"

"What the Hell is the good news?!!"

"I'm the killer!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Grin, OR, Oh yes, another pun one.

“You’re going to have to grin and bear it,” said Dale, shaking his head at the protestors.

Three hippies in tye dye were dumping red paint on Edmund’s truck. He wasn’t even a hunter – they’d just gone fishing for the day, and tossed back everything they caught since their wives were allergic.

“Yes, Dale.” Edmund reached for the latch of the cage. “We are going to.”

Edmund grinned. Dale grinned back at him. Then Edmund opened the cage door and released their trained bears.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Ahimsa

“Ahimsa is the principle of non-injury, a religious Hippocratic oath that commands you do no harm to living things. No man, woman, child, horse fly biting that child, mad cow chasing that fly, or a serpent that’s figured out how to pump a shotgun and is sick of the whole fly business. It is at least a nice principle when moderated with others, and at most a heck of a way to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. But it’s always been flawed, because micro-biotic life forms like bacteria are constantly entering the body and being killed by your immune system. You can’t stop it from happening except by killing yourself, and killing yourself would condemn all the bacteria in your intestines to death. And even your bodily cells are dying all the time. But these things didn’t matter to the ancient mystics because they didn’t know about them, and modern mystics say that made it okay. That’s where I got this idea. You see, a lot of ahimsa-believers are great people, but they’re getting sick because they don’t get enough vitamins in their vegetarian diets. Healthy vegetarianism just isn’t viable in this region of the world. But my Special Vegetarian Chili is viable. The secret? Beef. Sometimes chicken. Because they’ve never tasted it before, they don’t know what they’re eating. And because they don’t know, their ahimsa is in tact. I’m going to Hell for it, but several thousand very kind people are about to live a lot longer on my karmic bank account.”
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